If Sophie could read and understand this list, she may not agree with all of it. But she wears her heart on her sleeve. I know when she’s experiencing joy—bliss, even—just as I know when she’s feeling quite the opposite.

Today, while celebrating Thanksgiving with my family, we each said what we’re thankful for. Sophie drank her milk, and listened, but if I had to guess, this is what I think she’d say.

I’m thankful for:

• milk.

• walks on acorn, rock and leaf-littered sidewalks.

• books, especially Big Red Barn, Counting Little Geckos, Corduroy and Pat the Bunny.

• Tucker, especially when he rolls and runs and jumps and eats the food I don’t like.

• the moon and stars, both in my bedroom and outside.

• airplanes, especially when I can hear and see them.

• music, a hardwood floor to dance on and my giraffe, puppy, Ming Ming and wand to dance with.

• anytime I’m allowed to walk on my own and am not confined to a stroller, cart or carseat.

• Nini, Pop Pop, Gramma, Paw Paw, Aunt Liz, Aunt Katy, Uncle Tom, Uncle Kyle and Aunt Christina (and the fact that I get to see them all this weekend).

• my great grandmas, who are always so excited to see me.

• my toothpaste and that I’m allowed to brush my teeth five times a day, even though Mom and Dad know I’m just sucking all the toothpaste off and not really brushing like I should.

• the park.

• the cozy coupe at the YMCA.

• trees.

• Monster’s Inc. (except the first scene—it’s too scary).

• being able to finally talk a language people understand, even though I sometimes mix things up and say things like “hold you” instead of “hold me,” “up” when I mean “down,” and “I love you too” even when I’m saying it first.

• wallets to go through, floss to pull out and lipstick to put on when no one is looking.

• AngelMartyZoeyDroopy (said just like that).

• bracelets.

• grown-up shoes.

• the Thanksgiving dress Great Aunt Susie made me.

• Mia, for not biting me.

• Dada and Mama, for loving me.


“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” —Thornton Wilder